New Echo Dot introduced
I’m not always right (I thought publishers would embrace Amazon adding text-to-speech to the Kindle 2, since it means people get through books more quickly and will buy more…quite wrong there), but I have gotten a few good predictions in over the years.
This one was just from two days ago
but I wasn’t seeing much speculation along this line before I said it.
“Bonus thought: is a refresh coming to the Echo line? Amazon has announced a September 14th event of some kind for the UK, and some people think that might be the Echo coming to the UK. The Echo Dot (I use one every day) is no longer available, with no indication of when it might be coming back in stock.”
Well, today they introduced a new version of the Dot:
available for pre-order for October 20th. It also comes in black. The white is new, and can be a good option for some rooms, like many kitchens.
The Dot is the version of Amazon’s Echo without a big speaker. It doesn’t have a tinny speaker, which is fine for voice, but it will sound scratchy on music. Still, I use a Dot every day…we have one in the bedroom, and for one thing, it turns our lights on and off. It also gives me weather reports, tells me what’s on my calendar, and so on.
They’ve reduced the price to $49.99. You can also buy six for the price of five or 12 for the price of 10 (which is the same either way). That way, you could have one in each room…or give them as gifts.
If you want good sound, you can connect it to a Bluetooth or wired speaker. I use mine with
which was a gift from our now adult kid.
I have it in the bathroom, and I like the interface a lot. Pairing it was easy and now, I just turned it on and in a second or two, the sound from my Dot is coming through it…even if I do that in the middle of a song. The sound is fine…and again, nice that it is waterproof.
The price for the speaker right now is $23.99, which is nice!
Besides coming in white, it’s a bit shorter, but I suspect there are more hardware changes, even without that many more software features.
Also, it comes with a new “ESP” (Echo Spatial Perception) feature…which will also come to the earlier Echoes in the near future.
It will enable an Echo to know if you are talking to it, or to another Echo.
That’s been a…challenge for us. The Echoes hear really well. When I say something to the one in the bedroom, the one in the family room usually hears me, too. That’s down a pretty long hallway and around a corner. Sometimes one of them hears me correctly and the one doesn’t, but they usually answer in harmony.
This is supposed to help with that issue, and to improve over time.
There are, by the way, more than 3,000 skills (like apps) available now! That’s up from about 1,000…just since June.
One more bit of Alexa news. The Echo is coming to the UK and Germany.
Bonus story: I read a Rizzoli and Isles novel by Tess Gerritsen:
I read a lot of things, but I don’t tend to read a lot of…well, let’s call them mainstream bestsellers. I’m not opposed to them…I’m not one of those people who thinks that if something is popular it isn’t good. 🙂
These are very popular mysteries, starring a police detective and a medical examiner.
They are a disparate pair, and that’s clearly part of the attraction…and what lead to a TV series based on them.
I did enjoy the book, and found it well written. Interestingly, though, the main characters were not the ones that made the book work the most for me. In fact, my Significant Other read the book also…and felt the same way. We both had some trouble telling them apart…even though they are supposed to very physically and temperamentally different. I would guess that if I gave most people a selection of quotations from the two characters, they would have difficulty assigning them correctly.
There were other characters and situations that were richly done.
I wonder if that’s normal in the series…that Rizzoli and Isles are more framing characters than the focus of the plot.
Speaking of the plot…I didn’t find the mystery all that difficult. I suspect I was aided in that by having some somewhat esoteric knowledge, but it’s an unusual mystery where I haven’t considered the proper solution…even if it’s only one of several things I’ve considered. In this case, I anticipated a couple of main elements.
Regardless, it was still worth reading for me. I liked a series of scenes set in Africa very much.
Back to more obscurities… 😉
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help! By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.